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Old 01-29-2019, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Failing Insight Advice

My 2003 CVT Insight has approximately 230,000 miles on the clock and is starting to show some age. It runs and drives fine, but is in rough shape. The IMA battery is about 6 years/100,000 miles old, the IMA light has been coming on more frequently. The CVT jolts from a stop and shudders. Judging by the mileage is likely on its way out too (its only a matter of time). The CVT went 225,000 miles without a fluid change... In addition to that, the engine likely has a weak/leaking head gasket. There is oil all over the engine block right around the head gasket. The engine needs new spark plugs (still on the originals), but I can't get the coil packs off due to the rusty bolts (Wisconsin car). I was considering removing the head of the engine, drilling out the rusty bolts, replacing the head gasket, plugs, and doing EGR and timing while I was there, but this would cost me about $400 in parts alone. For that price, I could buy a lower mileage (rust free) engine. I have been dreaming about doing an L-series engine swap. I would simply take the transaxle from a Honda Fit, and plop it into the Insight. This sounds great, but would likely (maybe) be very difficult to get the computers hooked up correctly. I don't really want to just replace the CVT with another one that will soon have the same problem... I really don't want to sell, the car is in really good shape otherwise. It operates fine now, just thinking ahead. Any advice? I'm trying to stay under $2500. Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You could have my fathers whole car for under $2500
Three things wrong
Dent & a tear
2nd gear downshift grind started
Immobilizer is intermittent

My guess is between the two cars you could have a good body and an easier to maintain and repair transmission and an engine that doesn’t leak. My hybrid battery even still works

Last edited by rmay635703; 01-29-2019 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmay635703 View Post
You could have my fathers whole car for under $2500
Three things wrong
Dent & a tear
2nd gear downshift grind started
Immobilizer is intermittent

My guess is between the two cars you could have a good body and an easier to maintain and repair transmission and an engine that doesn’t leak. My hybrid battery even still works
Thanks, but I'm looking to fix mine. Tempting offer though
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Meanwell PSU alternator + permanent IMA bypass
1.3L from the HCH1.
6-spd transmission from a CR-Z with the Insight final drive
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| When purchased, Nov '18: 254K mi, LMPG 62.5
| Now: 263K mi, 81.7 MPG avg (LMPG 62.9, not reset), best 126.6 MPG
| Full IMA delete, 15V Meanwell pseudo-alternator, increased tire pressure, grille block, WAI, underbody panels, Scott's pan, other aeromods
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbitCVT View Post
The CVT jolts from a stop and shudders.
Change fluid a few times and replace the filters. If it still does that, try the clutch start burnishing procedure.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
1.3L from the HCH1.
6-spd transmission from a CR-Z with the Insight final drive
Not sure that's gonna help much with a CVT. I'd go find an m/t and drive on the CVT until it becomes a parts car.
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